If Lamborghini started making cars everyone could afford, the chances are it'd appeal to a lot of people. That's what happens when high-end manufacturers release affordable products.
Denon -- the high-end Japanese audio systems manufacturer -- has gradually been introducing earphones for casual iPod users for over a year. It's latest and most affordable pair is the AH-C252s. At £30, there's very little reason not to take note.
They'll be on sale towards the start of September and we've taken a pair for an exclusive and extensive listen.
We've given accolades to the more costly Denon models for adopting aluminium as an enclosure material of choice. At this price point, it obviously wasn't practical. Instead, Denon has used a gum-coated plastic, making them a lightweight 'phone, but with enough strength to withstand life without a case (although a cloth case is supplied).
Also included is a range of silicone tips, varying from small to large. Getting the right fit is essential for bass to be heard properly, but they also passively block out ambient noise, such as chattering on the commute, air conditioning systems and the sound of air rushing past windows in trains. Although these silicone tips don't block out as much sound as the foam tips Shure earphones use, they have an excellent balance of comfort and performance.
On the inside, the C252s rock 11.5mm neodymium- backed drive units, a frequency response between 20Hz-23kHz, sensitivity of 100dB/mW, an impedance of 16ohms and they'll handle up to 100mW of power.
Sonically, there's a very different voice present when compared to other Denon earphone models. Thes, s and AH-C351s all tend to be quite bright in the treble with exceptionally deep, smooth bass, but a less prominent mid-range. But the exceptionally loud C252s instead produce a powerful mid-range and strong low end, but without the particularly bright treble.